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Travaglia Begins Umag Campaign With Munar Upset

  • Posted: Jul 19, 2021

Stefano Travaglia is up and running at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag after toppling sixth seed Jaume Munar 6-3, 7-6(1) at Goran Ivanisevic Stadion on Monday.

Travaglia started the season with a 7-2 record, highlighted by a quarter-final run in Antalya and runner-up finish at a Melbourne ATP 250 (l. to Sinner), but struggled to repeat those results away from Australia. The Italian looks primed for a reset in Croatia, and he improves to a 10-16 record on the season.

The Italian raced out to 4-1 lead in the opening set with a double-break, and never relinquished control of the match. Munar saved two match points at 6-5 in the second set to send them into a tie-break, but he was overpowered when Travaglia reeled off the last five points to clinch the victory in an hour and 53 minutes.

Travaglia will next face Spain’s Carlos Taberner, as the Italian seeks his third quarter-final appearance of the season. Taberner cruised past Croatian wild card Nino Serdarusic 6-2, 6-2. 


Also in action in Umag, Radu Albot claimed his first clay-court victory of the year (1-3) after rallying from a set down against Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. The victory also earned the Moldovan a bit of revenge, as the 18-year-old knocked him out of the Nordea Open first round in three sets last week.

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Lopez-Huesler Battle Ends In Heartbreak In Gstaad

  • Posted: Jul 19, 2021

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez and home favourite Marc-Andrea Huesler played a thriller on Monday at the Swiss Open Gstaad, which ended in heartbreak for the Swiss.

Huesler was serving at 5-6 in the deciding set to force what seemed to be an inevitable final-set tie-break. But in the first point of the game, the 25-year-old hurt a toe on his left foot and was unable to continue. Lopez therefore advanced to the second round 6-4, 4-6, 6-5 15/0.

The 39-year-old won his only ATP Tour clay-court title in Gstaad in 2016, and he was also a finalist here in 2006. Lopez is now 23-11 at the ATP 250, and he will next play Swede Mikael Ymer, who eliminated French lucky loser Enzo Couacaud 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 53 minutes.


This will be the first ATP Head2Head meeting between Lopez and Ymer. However, the Spanish lefty beat Ymer’s brother, Elias Ymer, in the Gstaad quarter-finals five years ago.

In other action, sixth seed Benoit Paire ousted Slovakian Jozef Kovalik 6-3, 7-6(2). The Frenchman, who made the Hamburg quarter-finals last week, hit a shot of the year contender, carving an incredible backhand drop volley with so much backspin, it bounced back to his side of the net.

Belgian 22-year-old Zizou Bergs continued his impressive year with a 7-6(3), 6-1 victory against fellow qualifier Oscar Otte of Germany. Bergs has won three ATP Challenger Tour titles this year and is at a career-high No. 212 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva and Australian Marc Polmans also advanced on the first day of main draw action, with both men defeating Swiss players. But the home favourites earned a doubles triumph when Jakub Paul and Leandro Riedi defeated Americans Evan King and Max Schnur 6-3, 6-4.

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Absolutely Outrageous! Paire's Shot Of The Year Contender In Gstaad

  • Posted: Jul 19, 2021

It might be time to call Benoit Paire King of the Drop Volley.

The Frenchman hit an outrageous shot on Monday at the Swiss Open Gstaad, carving a backhand drop volley with so much backspin that it bounced back to his side of the net before his opponent, Jozef Kovalik, could get to it.


The shot came at 1-2 40/30 in the second set, and Paire went on to defeat Kovalík 6-3, 7-6(2) in one hour and 25 minutes.

This was not the first time that Paire has hit an incredible drop volley. At the 2015 Rolex Paris Masters, Paire slid into a backhand drop volley that nearly hit his own nose before barely squeaking over to Gilles Simon’s side of the court and bouncing back into the net. Simon went on to win that match in three sets.

Paire, who is the sixth seed this week in Gstaad, will next play Tallon Griekspoor or Juan Ignacio Londero.

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Anderson Soars After Newport Title, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Jul 19, 2021

No. 74 Kevin Anderson, +39
The South African, who is returning after a series of injuries, jumped 39 places to No. 74 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after lifting his sixth ATP Tour title on Sunday at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport (d. Brooksby). It was his first trophy since January 2019 at Pune (d. Karlovic). Read Newport Final Report & Watch Highlights 

View Latest FedEx ATP Rankings

No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta, +2
The Spaniard captured the biggest title of his career at the Hamburg European Open (d. Krajinovic) on Sunday to move up two places to World No. 11, a position he last held in the week beginning 28 May 2018. The former World No. 10 (11 September 2017), who has now lifted six trophies from nine singles finals, also clinched the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open title (d. Munar) in April. Read Hamburg Final Report & Watch Highlights

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 14 Casper Ruud, +2 (Joint Career High)
No. 34 Filip Krajinovic, +10
No. 52 Laslo Djere, +5
No. 62 Federico Coria, +15 (Career High)
No. 63 Jordan Thompson, +8
No. 90 Roberto Carballes Baena, +7
No. 99 Yannick Hanfmann, +8
No. 100 Arthur Rinderknech, +5 (Career High)

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Newport Q&A: Anderson 'Steadies The Ship' With Title Run

  • Posted: Jul 19, 2021

Kevin Anderson’s seventh career title at the Hall of Fame Open on Sunday marked a couple of significant firsts in the 35-year-old’s road back from knee surgery. The South African’s 7-6 (8), 6-4 victory over 20-year-old American Jenson Brooksby was his first ATP Tour title since Pune in January 2019 and the first in front of both wife Kelsey and daughter Keira.

The result lifted the former World No. 5 back into the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. Anderson spoke with following his triumph.

Your daughter Keira was there to see you win. How much do you appreciate those moments? Did it hit you when you looked over and saw Kelsey and Keira?
Yeah, obviously during the match I was very focused and trying to get the job done. It’s been a bit of a process for me, and the whole team. I think you need to cherish these moments and then this morning Kelsey said she was in touch with our nanny and was going to bring Keira win or lose. I said ‘Well it’d be much nicer if I can get the win and see her’. 

It’s the first time I celebrated a title both with Kelsey and our daughter so it was very memorable. She was more interested in running on the grass and posing for pictures. Hopefully this is the first of still many to come. 

You’re very open about the problems you’ve had over the years, but you’re always relentlessly positive about it. How are you able to keep that mindset?
It’s sometimes challenging behind the scenes. In the last several weeks it’s been a bit of a bumpy road and there’s been times where I’ve needed to draw on my team and my family to give me support and belief, and knowing that I’m not done. There’s still a lot I want to accomplish. 

Obviously having weeks like this where you get the title definitely gives you more confidence and it reinvigorates you. Even without the title I feel like since Wimbledon I’ve steadied the ship a little bit. 

I was confident coming into this week. There’s always going to be hiccups. I just have to come to terms that sometimes things are just out of your control.

Was there a moment around Wimbledon that something clicked for you? Was it something in your game or off-court?
I think it was actually the week before, going into Wimbledon. I’d had a few tough weeks, a couple of Challengers, lost in qualifying, I was hitting the ball well in practice, just not finding that level in matches. 

Even parts of the matches I was playing really well, just not consistent enough. I fell short of what our goal was [at Wimbledon] so that was tough but I felt it was still a step forward. Coming to Newport we came with the expectation of winning the tournament. I had to fight hard but I feel like I was able to take some good steps here.

You were Top 10, Top 5 before you got injured and said you wanted to win a Grand Slam. Is that still on the radar?
Yeah it is. I feel like my biggest goal is to win a Grand Slam and win a Masters 1000 series. I mean I’ve come close a couple of times but have come up against pretty tough opponents, but those are the guys you have to beat. 

I was knocking on the door, Top 5 in the world but in the last while my ranking has dropped and I’m a different player now. I still have a lot of belief in myself but you have to understand that it’s a different pathway. I feel like I’m much closer to that, it’s a journey to where I want to get to but one I’m very excited about.

You mentioned you are a different player. How do you adjust mentally to that, having played two Grand Slam finals, to shift your mindset?
A couple of years ago I’m coming into tournaments, Grand Slams, anything less than quarter-finals is a disappointment. A lot of the time I’m coming into tournaments with the goal of winning and I mean it’s still like that now but I think after the injuries I feel like I was missing those in-between goals – winning a couple of rounds at a Grand Slam – those smaller steps that before I wasn’t exactly looking for. 

Maybe that’s when I realised those are the steps I need to take now. I think I’ve recalibrated a bit but incredibly hopeful from where my game’s at, where my abilities are and ultimately my goal is to still win the biggest titles in our sport.

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Tallon's Trifecta: Griekspoor Claims Third Challenger Crown Of 2021

  • Posted: Jul 19, 2021

Van Mossel Dutch Open (Amersfoort, Netherlands): Tallon Griekspoor is the Flying Dutchman in 2021. The Haarlem native claimed his third ATP Challenger Tour title of the year on Sunday, prevailing on home soil in Amersfoort. Just weeks after qualifying for his first Wimbledon main draw, Griekspoor finds himself on the brink of a Top 100 breakthrough.

The second edition of the Dutch Open featured two home grown finalists, with Griekspoor defeating countryman Botic van de Zandschulp 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour and 53 minutes in the championship clash. It marked the first Challenger final between two players from The Netherlands since 2013.

The 25-year-old Griekspoor is in the midst of his best season as a professional, rising to a career-high No. 105 in the FedEx ATP Rankings while posting a 15-2 record over the last two months. Clay-court titles in Prague and Bratislava have been followed by his latest crown in Amersfoort. He joins Jenson Brooksby, Sebastian Baez and Zizou Bergs as the Challenger title leaders in 2021.

2021 Challenger Title Leaders

Player Titles
Tournaments Won
Tallon Griekspoor
3 Prague, Bratislava, Amersfoort
Jenson Brooksby 3 Potchefstroom, Orlando, Tallahassee
Sebastian Baez 3 Concepcion, Santiago, Zagreb
Zizou Bergs 3 St. Petersburg, Lille, Almaty

President’s Cup (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan): It had been five years since Max Purcell last lifted a singles trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour. After such a long title drought, returning to the winners’ circle tastes even sweeter. The Aussie found his way back to titletown on Sunday, prevailing on the hard courts of Nur-Sultan.

Purcell has become a doubles dynamo in recent years, having teamed with fellow Aussie Luke Saville to win eight Challenger crowns and reach the 2020 Australian Open final. But, despite his doubles success, the 23-year-old has refused to leave his singles career behind. That commitment was validated on Sunday.

The Sydney native’s victory in the Kazakh capital came in dramatic fashion, saving a championship point to overcome Jay Clarke 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6). It marked his second straight win in a deciding tie-break, having also earned a tight semi-final victory over Peter Polansky on Saturday.

Purcell last lifted a singles trophy in Gimcheon, South Korea, in 2016. A fresh face on the scene, he was the first player born in 1998 to win a Challenger title. Five years later, Purcell is now playing his best tennis and has been rewarded with a Top 200 debut in the FedEx ATP Rankings, rising to a career-high No. 190. The milestone comes just one month after reaching his first ATP Tour semi-final on the grass of Eastbourne.


Internazionali di Tennis Citta di Todi (Todi, Italy): The Spanish armada is dominating the Challenger circuit in 2021. Mario Vilella Martinez became the seventh different champion from Spain, streaking to victory on the clay of Todi on Sunday.

Vilella Martinez downed home favourite and top seed Federico Gaio 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3 to lift his first trophy in two years. Having teamed up with former World No. 28 Santiago Giraldo, their partnership is already paying dividends. The 26-year-old will rise to a career-high No. 158 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.

The Elche native joins Carlos Taberner, Jaume Munar, Carlos Gimeno Valero, Roberto Carballes Baena, Bernabe Zapata Miralles and Carlos Alcaraz as Spanish champions in 2021.

Vilella Martinez

Concord Iasi Open (Iasi, Romania): Zdenek Kolar earned back-to-back deciding-set victories to triumph on the clay of Iasi. The 24-year-old would claim the biggest title of his career on Sunday, defeating top seed Hugo Gaston 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 at the Challenger 100 event.

Kolar, who secured his maiden title in April in Oeiras, Portugal, added a second trophy to his growing collection. He became the first Czech player to win multiple titles in a season since 2016, when Adam Pavlasek and Jan Satral both won a pair of crowns. With the victory, he rises to a career-high No. 179 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.


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Injured Berrettini To Miss Tokyo Olympics

  • Posted: Jul 19, 2021

Matteo Berrettini has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics due to a thigh injury he developed on his run to the Wimbledon final earlier this month. The World No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings was the spearhead of an Italian tennis team, which also included Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Lorenzo Musetti, Sara Errani, Jasmine Paolini and Camila Giorgi.

“I am extremely disappointed to announce my withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympic Games,” Berrettini said on Instagram. “I had an MRI scan yesterday on the thigh injury I sustained during Wimbledon and was informed I will not be able to compete for a couple of weeks.

“Representing Italy is the biggest honour for me so it is devastating to miss the Olympics. I wish the entire Italian team the best of luck in Tokyo. I will be supporting you all the way.”


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